So there’s obviously been a lot of debate over the last few days about the issue of Gun Control.
I grew up and still live in the UK in which we have strict gun control laws. To this day I don’t even know how I would go about getting a gun. I don’t know who I’d have to ask, what permits to have, what checks would be needed, etc. I don’t know anything about owning a gun because it’s so damn difficult to get one. I’m talking about basic guns too, we’re not even talking about Assault Rifles (which are the ones used in school shootings), which are totally illegal in this country because, as is common sense, no civilian needs an assault rifle. There’s just no need for it. Yet I know for a fact you can walk into most places in America and purchase a gun, and not even just a basic one, a semi-automatic weapon.
There’s been some rather horrific points made in opposition to upping gun control in the US. The first one I want to address comes from Tomi Lahren who tweeted “Can the Left let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gunowner agenda? My goodness. This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic.
#FloridaShooting” So I understand there’s a grieving progress and you do have to respect it, but grief doesn’t get in the way of law. Just because somebody is grieving, doesn’t mean you can’t debate the issue (as you clearly don’t mind doing). Also, there are kids that were in the classrooms, that lost their friends and families, who have taken to Twitter to tell you to reconsider your gun laws. This could have been such a nice sentiment too, you could have come across as a real caring person, had you not used words such as “push their…agenda” which just makes your statement inflammatory and undermines your “care” for the families.
Senator Marco Rubio said “I’m trying to be clear and honest here, someone who has decided to commit this crime, they will find a way to get the gun to do it.” This takes me back to something my dad said to me when I was growing up. My dad used to say that if you’re going to be burgled then they’ll find a way inside the house. This doesn’t mean we left the doors and windows open for them to make it easier though. Without gun control your idea of buying firearms is like leaving a door open for a burglar to break in.
I want to step into something personal here because I wouldn’t be alive today if the UK didn’t have such strict gun laws. In my suicidal times I have thought about how I’d end my life and the easiest way for me to do it would be taking a gun to my head. It’s not a nice thought but we have to admit these things before we can get over them. But yes, if I were an American citizen then in my darkest hours I would have gone out, bought a gun and ended everything. The fact of the matter is that you can’t do it over here. If you’re having a dark time then you can’t wander out and get a gun within the hour, you’d have to wait weeks or even months, by which time the feelings you were having have had a chance to pass. And so no, if people do want to do things like this, it doesn’t mean they will definitely find a way to get a gun.
Tomi Lahren believes “This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic.” You’re half right. It’s about both. But let’s look at the “lunatic”, which then enters us into a mental health discussion. If we want to help people like this, trying to help them not commit these crimes, then we have to address the issues as to why this happens. We can look at things like bullying, mental illness, drugs, alcohol, etc because yes, all of these things can play a part in why a person does something. But there’s one factor that every school shooting has in common; it’s done because these people can EASILY get guns. Helping the mentally ill would be increasing checks and restricting the ability to own guns. Even if we just cut out the assault rifles (so I’m not taking away precious gun ownership entirely), you would see a decrease in the number of school shootings and the number of fatalities in these incidents.
I also don’t get the Right Wing desire towards owning a gun. If you ask them why they need to own a gun they usually say protection, although that doesn’t really cover it (there’s plenty of other forms of protection you can have legally). What it really boils down to is the idea that you want to be in control. You want to have that gun because it makes you feel good and it gives you that rush because you control whether somebody else lives or dies. It is, in essence, the real reason people own high powered and military grade weaponry, it makes them feel bigger than they are.